July 20, 2012

Website Design 2012 and beyond; what does the future hold?

Every year we see new trends emerging and advances  with website design (and also development) so what does the rest of 2012 have in store for us?

First off, we can turn our attentions to Parallax scrolling websites. The principle behind parallax scrolling is nothing new as it’s been utilised in video game production for years but how will it alter the website design industry? Quite simply, the idea of a parallax scrolling is having different “layers” moving at different times as the user scrolls. This in turn creates a feeling of movement but importantly, depth – something websites have always lacked due to their 2D nature. Ok, so this isn’t new to 2012 and we’ve seen example s of parallax websites before but as developers and designer get use to the principles behind them, we’ll probably see a few more of them appearing thought the year. And being how cool they look, that’s definitely not a bad thing.

So, will it last? We all believe it will – unlike most website design trends this is something that can be applied to any design style so can adjust with the times. It’s also mobile friendly too and with increased mobile browsing figures, its future should be fairly sustainable.

This brings us nice onto our next trend – website design for mobile devices. Again, this is nothing new in the website world but with screens greeting larger and processors getting faster, it’s becoming more important than ever. In the coming year there is a good chance that mobile friendly version of websites will become more advanced as the devices themselves improve; expect to see a little more input into the aesthetics compared to the current simple mobile versions out there.

Next up we have HTML5 and CSS3. This is big one for this year and something we’re going to see more of as developers become au fait with it. It’s not so much a design trend but a tool that’s going to alter the aesthetics of a website – Parallax scrolling for example is product of HTML5/CSS3. Expect to see it used in more subtle areas though where buttons might fade in or out (essentially for parts of a website that might have previously been Flash based). It’s these little elements that will really help bring a website to life and ultimately increase the user experience by engaging with its audience that bit more – not a bad trend really.

Finally, the last website design element we’re going to see a lot more throughout 2012 is social media integration. Again, it’s nothing new but social media has become one of the main ways to communicate with clients and suppliers alike. Sharing buttons, Facebook comments on article posts, latest tweets and Pininterst buttons have become the staple diet for website design. What was commonly an afterthought a couple of years ago is now often the main focus for a website where gaining followers and communicating in a less formal, friendly manner has become the norm.

With 6 months of the year left it won’t be long until we turn our attentions to 2013 and its website design trends – by then we might all be browsing the internet on 3D tablet devices with augmented reality. Probably not, but we can all hope.